Walker hoping lightening doesn’t strike twice
Walker hoping lightening doesn’t strike twice

Halfway through their T20 campaign, the Kent Spitfires lead the South group with eight points from five games, but coach Matt Walker knows that twelve months ago, his side were in a similar position and failed to get out of the group stages.

With the Spitfire facing five games in nine days, Walker and the Kent faithful, hope that lessons will be learned from 2019.

Talking to KSN ahead of the first of those game, at home to the Sussex Sharks, the Kent coach admitted: “I hope that we’ve learned the lessons from last year, its how much thought you give it really.

“There were two games that we should have won at the end, and we didn’t! And that’s as simple as it is, we got ourselves into winning positions against Surrey and Gloucester and as a result we didn’t get over the line.

“The reasons for that? They were two different games, two similar situations but we’ve thought about it; we know what happened in those games and we know where we went wrong – we don’t want to over analyse that, its T20 and we know that these things can happen.”

“To not beat Middlesex a couple of weeks ago when perhaps we should, and then beat Sussex the way we did, I really think shows the game that T20 is.

“If you just look at the result and people see the result and even if they’re there watching the game sometimes and it’s the result that matters. But T20 is such an extraordinary game and that’s why people love it so much and why its so interesting is that the whole game can turn in two or three balls, it really is that dramatic.

“It happened to us last year in the space of an over against Surrey things changed and then against Gloucester it turned in the space of four balls.”

“At Middlesex this year, we were there and then two balls later we had to work hard to get a tie! And then at Sussex, the game had gone, you don’t win those games really with Bopara and Wiese at the crease with seven balls left needing eight runs that doesn’t happen very often, but in T20 funnily enough, things do happen like that and it’s an extraordinary game.

“So you can’t over analyse it too much, you can certainly identify if things become a pattern which I suppose last year, you could say that in two or three games were a bit of a pattern but we talked about it and we know that we’ve got to keep calm.

“We know that we’ve got to keep ahead of the rate; we know we’ve got to be a bit smarter; in run chases, we’ve got to take better options at crucial times and I hope that the lessons have been learned and I think that the way we’ve chased this year which, certainly at home, has been really encouraging.

“In the past we’ve been a very good setting team and defending what we set, this year we’ve chased a couple of times and alright we didn’t get over the line at Middlesex, but to get within a hairs breath of getting 209 was a brilliant achievement.”

“I still have to remind myself that we’re a young side who are improving all the time, and its been a great competition for us so far and it will be nice to go on again next week and get to the Quarter Final, we’ve played very well so far.

“In our group with the quality teams that we’re facing, it can still quite easily change within two or three games and all of a sudden you could end up chasing instead of setting the pace, it happened last year when we were top of the table, had won five out of six, or six out of seven, and then by the end we didn’t qualify, and Essex came from not being anywhere near qualifying to winning the competition.”

“Bottom line is that we’ve got a good template at the moment, the boys are playing very well; the guys at the top are really delivering with the bat and we should be confident about progressing.”